Nigeria’s unemployment rate jumped to 7.5 per cent in the first quarter of the year (Q1 2015) according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS). There were a total of 17.7 million people between ages 15 and 65 either unemployed or underemployed in the labour force in Q1 2015 ( THISDAY). With 17.7 million Nigerians not gainful employed, you have 17.7 million tools anybody to use wrongly or rightly.
The Educational system is to blame
Our educational system is one of the causes of unemployment in Nigeria. How can our institutions of higher learning continue to do the same thing every year and expect a different result? This is the first law of madness. THERE IS NO NEED TO PRODUCE GRADUATES WHEN THEY ARE NOT EMPLOYABLE. What is the purpose of getting higher education in Nigeria? Is it for mental exercise which we do in school? LET’S STOP THIS MADNESS. We must get our priorities right. We must set our goals as an institution. Project works in school are for the shelves and not for any economic use.
My project in Federal Polytechnic Ado Ekiti was on ‘The Construction of Mobile Chalk Board for Schools’. I was excited to construct such economic project. I would have been happier and motivated if it’s going to be used in the state’s primary, secondary and tertiary institutions. If I did that job for a single school and got paid for such innovation, I could have learned entrepreneurial skills, but it is left in the archives of the school to rot. In Federal University of Technology Akure, I did a project on ‘Development of Used Engine Oil Fired Furnace’. A beautiful job that will take all waste engine oil off the shores of this country and convert them to energy, thanks to my supervisors Engineer Titiadunlayo, Dr. Oke, Engineer Akinola and Engineer Awokpetu, Dr. S. P Ayodeji, Ikpefua Odion and Ajibade Paul (names are as published in the project, September 2010). The society needs this project.
These institutions, lecturers, students and governments should ensure that our projects are tailored to the needs of the society and implement them to solve the numerous Nigerian challenges. I graduated the best student overall, School of Engineering, Federal Polytechnic Ado Ekiti, Ekiti State, with distinction in National Diploma in Mechanical Engineering, 2006 (3.62 out of 4.0 GPA) and proceeded to study Mechanical Engineering at Federal University of Technology Akure (2010) and graduated with 4.36 GPA out of 5.0 and I was properly equipped to create or get a job after national service.
I must use this opportunity to commend with due respect the efforts of Federal Polytechnic Ado Ekiti and Federal University of Technology Akure in training me and giving me technology for self-reliance. These schools are part of the best we have in Nigeria in the aspect of technology.
I took from Federal Polytechnic Ado Ekiti, machining skills that help me to be a good machinist on Centre Lethe Machines, Milling Machines, Drilling Machines, Grinding machines, welding machines etc.
Depend on yourself not the Government or Society
Polytechnics in Nigeria are doing a great job but they have to see how they can solve unemployment in Nigeria as their only goal. How can you produce graduates who are not employable after school? THEY MUST MAKE THEIR GRADUATES TO UNDERSTAND THAT GETTING A JOB DEPENDS ON WHAT THEY KNOW AND WHAT THEY CAN DO TO SOLVE HUMAN NEEDS. It does not depend on the government, schools and society but the individual himself.
The skills that got me the jobs I am doing right now are the ones I acquired myself and not the ones I was taught in the classrooms. Classroom lessons wont take you far.
Today, I am not working as a mechanical engineer. I used what I have to get what I need. I am gainfully employed and I also employ others. WHICH SKILL DO YOU HAVE? WHAT DO YOU KNOW, WHAT CAN YOU DO?
The unemployment in Nigeria has reached a stage where everybody has to do something to change this situation. Don’t blame the government or the leaders (that wont solve anything). IT IS SOLUTION TIME.
Provide jobs and people would look for you
Look at it this way. THE GREATEST COMMODITY IN DEMAND RIGHT NOW IS JOBS FOR OUR PEOPLE. If you can create jobs, you will be highly looked for. Forget whether they are employable or not. Everybody is employable in one field or the other.
I saw a Masters degree holder as a cleaner in a Fast Food Company. It is not her master degree that got her that job but her skill in cleaning which she does every day in her house.
More responsible solutions that increase revenue, the more money you could get. Let us even forget about about fixed salaries for years, for workers. Who said you will get the same salary every month? YOU CAN GET WHAT YOU WANT EVERY MONTH DEPENDING ON YOUR OUTPUT. You can have salary increase or decrease every month.
LET’S STOP THESE OLD METHODS THAT MAKE US UNPRODUCTIVE. Workers sit down in their offices doing nothing and expect end of month salary. End of month have even become legal tender for money right now for Nigerian workers.
It all depends on WHAT YOU KNOW AND WHAT YOU CAN DO. WHAT DO YOU KNOW, AND WHAT CAN YOU DO?
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